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Updated: Feb 13, 2023


Katie LandeckThe Providence Journal

FEB 9 2023

There’s New York Style pizza. There’s Chicago-style pizza, and then there’s the Rhode Island pizza strip. It could be argued (and has been on Twitter) that the pizza strip — with its lack of cheese and toppings – lacks the flair of other regional pizza dishes, or maybe isn’t even real pizza. A true Rhode Islander knows those people are wrong. And missing the point.

Because a pizza strip, also called a party pizza, red strips or a bakery pizza, isn’t trying to be like the other pizzas out there. It’s a much simpler celebration of the most often overlooked element of a pizza – the sauce. What is a Rhode Island pizza strip? A pizza strip is a rectangular strip of pizza, served on a crust that would be best described as focaccia, topped with a tomato sauce and often a dusting of grated Romano cheese. It’s served at room temperature. That’s it. Where were pizza strips invented? By all accounts, pizza strips are a Rhode Island dish, a regional oddity that can only be found in the Ocean State. But to be a little more specific, it’s primarily a Rhode Island Italian American dish. “It originated back in the day,” said Brian Boza, the owner of Borelli’s Pastry Shop, a neighborhood Italian bakery in Coventry. “It was an easy dish that could be packed, served at room temperature, and you could eat it all day.” Only in Rhode Island:Mob-trial witness sings — R.I. bakery's jingle It also celebrated a key element of Italian cooking — the sauce. “It’s true. You go to grandma’s house and the sauce will be perfect,” said Boza, who identifies as half Italian, and half Guatemalan. “It is a culture thing.” Where to get pizza strips One of the oddities of pizza strips is you don’t typically get them from a pizzeria. These are best ordered from neighborhood Italian bakeries, and they can also be found in most grocery store bakeries. Give it a try:3 secret pizza spots around Rhode Island that you'll thank yourself for trying Some popular places to pick them up around the state are Venda Ravioli on Federal Hill in Providence, The Original Italian Bakery in Johnston, LaSalle Bakery in Providence, and DePetrillo’s Pizza & Bakery, which has five locations around the state.

Recipe for pizza strips

For those who want to try to make them at home, Venda Ravioli on Federal Hill shared their recipe for pizza strips with The Providence Journal in 2003.

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